View from the Press Box: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

View from the Press Box: Lions at Bears

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(Bari D / Flickr) (Bari D / Flickr)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Soldier Field was absolutely electric Monday night as the Bears returned to action for the first time in 15 days.

And all in attendance held their breathe as Jay Cutler was taken down hard by Ndamukong Suh in the second quarter. It was about two and a half minutes of anxiety as everyone watched him writhing in pain. Then he hopped up, brushed off an attempted handshake from Suh, sat out one play and returned.

It was a display of toughness and leadership that hadn't been seen in prime time. Usually it's a facial expression or body language. This time all eyes were on his toughness - watching him fight through bruised ribs to continue to lead the offense.

It was, however a good thing the offense found the endzone early. And that was all courtesy of Cutler. He kept the Bears first drive of the game alive twice with his feet. Scrambling for the first down on 3rd and long then on a bootleg, found Brandon Marshall for the 7 yard strike.

I overheard one analyst say that "Cutler is at his best when the play breaks down." I saw that more Monday night than any other time this season. He showed leadership and incredible toughness, dare I say, character? It was downright refreshing compared to the facial expressions and sideline incidents we've been scrutinizing after the first two prime time games.

By the way, his 150 yards passing moved him into fourth on the Bears all time list. He's now trailing only, Jim McMahon, Jim Harbough, and Sid Luckman.

But we'd not be talking about any of it if it weren't for the Bears defense. Forcing fumbles, stepping up in the red zone, not giving up the big play. It's hard to pinpoint what aspect of their play was the key. Well for them it was tough. For me, it was all about the red zone.

Detroit's offense came in second in the league in yards per game and at one point in the second quarter had 37 yards on 19 offensive plays. And the further the Lions drove down the field, the tougher the Bears defense got. Three turnovers in the red zone. Two fumbles, one interception. The defense is what kept the Bears in the game - they are why the Bears won the game.

Matthew Stafford with his hands on his hips stood frustrated most of the night. He found the end zone late in the fourth much to the disappointment of the Bears defense that was trying to post their first shut out in nearly two years. But the win is what they were after and it's what they got. A fifth straight home win over Detroit and a firmer hold on first place in the division.

Now they welcome Carolina (1-5) to town on a short week. The big questions will be Jay's mobility with those bruised ribs and can the defense keep playing at this high a level. I get the feeling a lot of people are waiting for the other shoe to drop on the Bears who are now off to their best start in six years. Perhaps it's because I'm new to this, but why does it have to?

The Bears could easily be 7-1 heading into their next Monday night affair in San Francisco on November 19. I will argue they should be, barring anything worse than a couple of bruised ribs.

All 32 In 17

Got to meet Matt and Craig Steichen Monday night, founders of "All 32 in 17." They had the idea of stopping in all 32 stadiums in a 17 week regular season. Then they partnered with "Wounded Warriors" and are bringing some real heroes to the sidelines of NFL games. It's a tremendous reward to see the awe on these military war veterans faces when they step onto an NFL field. Such a cool adventure. Matt said it's been a priceless adventure. He can't believe what he's experienced so far and Monday night at Soldier Field was the half way point. Check them out at their website, www.all32in17.com

Just Because

Ok, Bears fans. You know how to tailgate. I parked among the tailgaters Monday night and was beyond impressed. The displays you had were phenomenal! I actually was most impressed with a gold pickup truck that I parked next to. We pulled in about the same time. I spent about 45 seconds gathering my things from the car and in that time they got the charcoal going and were throwing on the meat. Crazy fast and beyond admirable. I only wish I could have stayed to enjoy the food and beverage.

We are looking for a fantastic tailgate to hit in the coming weeks. Email me and let me know the best ones to feature: dionne.miller@foxtv.com

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